General Motors to Recall 7 Million Vehicles for Defective Takata Airbags
General Motors will recall about 7 million large pickup trucks and SUVs worldwide to replace faulty and potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the announcement came on Nov. 23 after the U.S. government told the automaker that it had to recall 6 million vehicles in the United States. GM has said it will not fight the decision even though it believes the vehicles are safe.
Details of the Recall
GM had petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) four times since 2016 to avoid recalls maintaining that the airbag inflator canisters have been safe on the road and during testing. However, NHTSA denied those petitions saying the inflators still pose the risk of exploding. Vehicle owners complained to the federal regulatory agency that the automaker was putting profits before the safety of consumers.
Exploding Takata airbags have killed 27 people worldwide including 18 in the United States. So far, at least 63 million inflators have been recalled. As of September, more than 11 million vehicles had not been repaired. Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate airbags in the event of a crash.
However, this chemical can deteriorate when it is exposed to heat and humidity. It could explode with tremendous force blowing apart a metal canister and propelling shards of metal into the vehicle compartment. The GM recall is significant because it means that all Takata ammonium nitrate airbag inflators in the U.S. will be recalled. The recall covers the Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe and the GMC Sierra and Yukon, with model years 2007 to 2014.
Owners will be notified if their vehicle is included in the recall. Jason Levine, executive director of The Center for Auto Safety, has called this recall a good day for millions of GM owners who had to wait four years for a decision on “whether they are driving with an unexploded hand grenade in their steering wheel.” Drivers can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by going to NHTSA’s website and entering their 17-digit vehicle identification number or VIN.
If You Have Been Affected
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Takata airbag inflator, you may be able to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation and pain and suffering. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.